MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, you should be tested. That’s the message from Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. But how easy is to get that test?
Hennepin Healthcare is now testing around 1,000 to 1,200 people a day. Anyone who has symptoms can call their health care provider for a screening to see if they should be tested.
“‘I’m not feeling well, I want to make sure I can get screened here, are my symptoms can I get access to testing?’ And as every day goes by the answer to those questions slowly become yes,” Dr. Glen Hansen, medical director for microbiology & molecular diagnostic testing at Hennepin Healthcare, said.
Hospitals all over the state have been limited to who they have been able to test due to a lack of testing supplies, but now the supplies are here and testing sites are ready.
Hennepin Healthcare, Allina, and Health Partners have all increased their testing to include any patient with symptoms of COVID-19 who has a doctor’s referral. HealthPartners said they have increased their testing to 2,000 patients a day. That is nearly seven times the number of tests since April 22.
“We certainly have had enough appointments to meet the demand so far,” Heather Dawson, vice president of laboratory services for Allina Health, said.
North Memorial Health also opened a drive-up testing site in Robbinsdale last week that allows anyone with at least one symptom of COVID-19 to get tested even without a doctor’s referral.
“There has been a lot of collaboration on the backside to make sure everybody had the capabilities to ramp up and we could share learnings with each other in terms of how things work and what didn’t,” Dawson said.
Hennepin Healthcare has a goal to test 10,000 patients a week.
“The state population should feel reassured that the testing is starting to open up. Although we are still trying to be judicious about reaching those populations that we feel are the most vulnerable.”
M Health Fairview is testing symptomatic patients at seven drive-up testing centers.
Once you’re tested, results can take up to five days. Click here to find the closest testing site.